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7 things about SharePoint 2013 all IT pros should know

Jonathan Hassell | Feb. 13, 2013
Microsoft SharePoint 2013 builds upon previous releases in 2007 and 2010.

SharePoint, for Microsoft, has grown into a billions-of-dollars-a-year sort of business that increases its market share in the double-digit range each year. Not to put too fine a point on it: SharePoint is a beast in its space. Companies are adopting it worldwide to centralize knowledge, increase collaboration, develop applications on top of it and realize actionable intelligence about their overall business health.

However, SharePoint 2013 represents a major new release in the lifecycle of the product, and that may cause you to wonder what it is, what it can do for you and what your organization needs to know before considering and deploying it. Here's a brief SharePoint 2013 cheat sheet to help you sort out with some of those concerns.

SharePoint 2013 Highlights: Better BI, Mobile, Public Website Support

What are the big points Microsoft wants to sing about when it comes to the SharePoint 2013 release? While there are many improvements, the following five points rise to the top:

Better branding for Your Web Presence. What used to be an arduous process that involved complicated designer assets, style sheets and a confusing packaging process has now been made much easier. Now, any Web designer with proficiency in HTML, CSS and JavaScript can in a short amount of time brand a SharePoint site and create a public-facing or internal site that looks good. This will reduce your internal support expense, as well as make it less costly to use SharePoint itself as a platform for public-facing websites.

Improved public-facing website hosting. Hosting a public website (e.g., your .com site) on SharePoint 2007 was an exercise in frustration. Hosting that same site on SharePoint 2010 was better, but that product wasn't as full-featured as some competing platforms.

SharePoint 2013's capabilities in this regard are a natural evolution into maturity. The new release includes the capability to serve up pages to different devices (such as mobile phones and tablets) based on their characteristics. SharePoint 2013 also includes numerous features for search engine optimization (SEO), including XML based sitemaps, friendly URLs, SEO settings by different site collections rather than sites, and robots.txt support to define out of bounds areas for search engine crawlers.

Enhanced business intelligence. Using SharePoint as a platform to expose business intelligence and big data reports had its coming-out party with the 2010, but the capabilities have expanded in the 2013 release to really make SharePoint the choice to dig deeper into business insights and analytics. Integration between SharePoint and Excel is even tighter, too.

Finally, the PowerPivot program has gotten even more powerful in SharePoint 2013; you can work with billions and rows and columns directly in memory, while features such as PerformancePoint Services, Dashboard Designer and Visio Services all work together to paint a picture of your business' health and metrics.

 

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